George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Townsend Hooe, 12 July 1798

From Robert Townsend Hooe

Alexandria July 12th, 1798


My Friend and Neighbour, Major Roger West, has, a few days ago, communicated to me his desire to serve his Country in a Millitary Capacity.1 This Resolution of his gives me infinite Satisfaction, because altho’ we never quarrelled, yet we have not been perfectly in the same Politics for some time past. I confess Great Sir, that about Twelve Months ago I was not quite so fast as some of my Countrymen were with respect to opposing our Enemy the French—But I now see most clearly, that it would have been better for our Country if we had Armed & defended it both by Sea & Land above Twelve Months ago—Because the Robberies committed by these Villians might have been Prevented, & the Money taken from us employed in our Country’s cause against them. However I hope we are yet in time to be Saved—And, I hope every Man that holds out his hand for the Purpose will be received by not only his Country—but by God himself.

I Conceive it Sir, to be in Your power to Assist Major West to a Command in our Armies. I believe Sir, that he will not disgrace the appointment You may make for him—I think as he has served for a length of time as a Major, in our Militia, he is well entitled to a Regiment; and I do believe, from the bottom of my Heart that, he will behave under that Command, so as to give You and our dear Country every Satisfaction that can be expected from a Man in that Station. I now beg leave Sir, to let you know, once more that there is not a Man living that Loves you more than

R. Td Hooe


1Roger West (d. 1801) of Alexandria, son of John West, Jr., was elected in April 1796 to the house of delegates from Fairfax County and in April 1799 was the Republican candidate for Congress from the district. GW alludes to West in a letter to James McHenry on 22 July, referring to him as Dr. James Craik’s son-in-law. In 1788 Craik’s daughter Mariamne became West’s second wife.

For further correspondence regarding West’s application for an army commission and its involvement in electoral politics, see West to GW, 23 April 1799, and source note of that document.

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